7 Ways to Read Free Books Online (Without Leaving Your Couch)

updated May 3, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Bookworms rejoice: There are tons of ways to read your favorite books online for free. From old-school classics to brand-new bestsellers, the web is brimming with books you can binge read from your smart device free-of-charge.

We’ve rounded up some of the best places you can find books online for free. From Amazon to the Library of Congress, check out these seven awesome websites where you can read books for nothing—from the privacy of your own sofa.

1. Amazon Kindle Lending Library

If you’re a Kindle-owning Amazon Prime member, then we’ve got good news for you. Kindle Owners’ Lending Library offers hundreds of thousands of book titles, for you to “borrow” and download on your Kindle e-reader, for free. Plus, there aren’t any due dates, so unlike your local library, you won’t accumulate any late fees if the book you borrowed takes a little longer to read.

2. Kindle Firstreads

Searching for any easy (and super affordable) way to read brand-new book releases from your smart device? Kindle Firstreads gives members access to books up to a month before their actual release date, and allows Prime members one free Kindle download monthly.

3. Google Play Books

Interested in reading a book but not sure you’re ready to commit to its 300+ pages? Google Play Books offers just about every book under the sun in its library, along with free samples—usually at least a chapter long—so you can engage in a text before downloading the whole thing.

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

4. Read.gov

Leave it to the Library of Congress to create one the most exhaustive digital libraries in the world. Read.gov provides digitized versions of thousands of popular books new and old—including kid, teen, and adult titles—as well as archived newspapers, films, and magazines.

5. Open Library

Kind of like Wikipedia, but for books, Open Library is an online project devoted to digitizing every book ever written, so that viewers can borrow, share, and read them online for free. Currently, they’re sitting on more than 20 million titles in their e-book archive, so you’d be hard-pressed to not find something interesting to read.

6. Overdrive

If you love your local library as much as I do, then Overdrive is the e-book app for you. It connects readers with their local libraries online digital catalogs from the privacy of their own smart device, so you read books from home, for free, while still supporting your local library.

7. Good Reads

Not sure what book you’d like to read next (just know that you don’t want pay for it)? Goodreads customizes book recommendations for you based on your interests, and offers thousands of free e-books to download to boot.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)